Istanbul is a city full of contrasts. It is a city between tradition and the modern. That is what makes it so special and magical. The two properties of the Four Seasons reflect exactly the contrasts of Istanbul. During my recent trip to this vibrant metropolis, I had the pleasure to check in to both hotels and experience the modern and traditional vibes first hand.
Istanbul is home to not one but two Four Seasons properties – the Four Seasons Istanbul at the Bosphorus and the Four Seasons Istanbul at Sultanahmet. Overall the Bosphorus hotel is characterized by chic and modern sophistication while the Four Seasons Istanbul is its traditional and charming counterpart.
Both buildings have an impressive history: The Four Seasons Bosphorus was placed in an Ottoman palace from the 19th century. The Four Seasons Sultanahmet was once a prison, which is hard to believe as the yellow neoclassical building rather resembles a fairytale palace.
The Four Seasons Istanbul at Sultanahmet is beautifully set between the Hagia Sofia and the Blue Mosque in the oldest district of the city. Besides these major attractions, it is also in walking distance to other sights like the Topkapi Palace and the Grand Bazaar. The location makes it ideal for first time visitors to Istanbul.
As the name suggests, the Four Seasons Istanbul at the Bosphorus sits directly at the shores that divide Europe and Asia. The property overlooks the Asian shores and the famous Bosphorus bridge. It is located in the district Besiktas. Sights that are close to this Four Seasons hotel are the Ortaköy Mosque and the Dolmabahce Palace.
Upon entering our room, we were surprised with an impressive welcome platter that consisted of a variety of fresh fruit, cracker with cheese and melon and Turkish delight (my favorite!). The Four Seasons seems to know me already.
We spent two days in the contemporary and elegant looking Palace Roof Suites in the Four Seasons Bosphorus. This spacious suite has an entrance area with wardrobe space, a large bed and living room and a chic marble bath room. As the rest of the hotel, the suit shows details of Ottoman Turkish design.
The biggest perk of this suite? Waking up to the breathtaking view of the private terrace that overlooks theg maiden tower, the Asian shores and the Bosphorus. I could spend hours enjoying this panoramic view! Just imagine sitting on the terrace, sipping a glass of wine while the sun is setting over Istanbul. Doesn’t this sound like pure bliss?
In the Four Seasons Sultanahmet, we had the pleasure to stay in the One-Bedroom Suite that consisted of a bed room, a separated living room, a large wardrobe area and a bath room. The entire suite felt like a city apartment due to its incredibly generous size. It is decorated in a Turkish theme and warm neutrals. to match the interior of the hotel that reflects the history of the building and the city. Our suite had a beautiful view of the courtyard.
Both suites were well-appointed with a large TV, docking stations, a coffee making facility, working desks and high speed Wi-Fi.
In both suites, the marble bathroom was spacious and matched perfectly the design of the particular suite. It featured a double sink, a separate shower and even a TV. Luxurious amenities by Bulgari are being provided to fully enjoy your stay. The most luxurious touch of the bath room was without a doubt the deep soaking bath tub. The perfect place to relax after a full day of exploring!
If you have been a vivid reader of this blog, then you know that breakfast is my favorite meal of the day! When living abroad in Istanbul, I’ve learnt to appreciate Turkish breakfast even more. That’s why I was especially looking forward to breakfast at the Four Seasons.
Breakfast has you spoilt for choices! The buffet is filled with a large assortment of cold and warm dishes, delicious Turkish specialties, dozens and dozens of pastries as well as fresh fruits. The best description for breakfast would literally be East meets West. Besides the breakfast buffet, you can additionally order dishes from the menu. Everything tastes fresh and of high quality. I am still craving my daily homemade pistachio granola. Breakfast at the Four Season Sultanahmet is being served at the pavilion that is located in the beautiful courtyard.
Facilities and Services
Being a luxury hotel, the Four Seasons Bosphorus offers its guests all the facilities that you would expect. A well-equipped gym can be used free of charge. If you want to have a little downtime, then head to the hotels large spa area. There you can find several Turkish baths, also called hammam, treatment rooms and saunas. To top it off, there is a beautiful indoor pool surrounded by lounge chairs and a whirlpool. In the summer time, guest can enjoy a large outdoor pool with a view to the Bosphorus. It doesn’t get much better than that!
PS: As a guest of the Four Seasons Sultanahmet you are able to use all the facilities of the other one as well.
The Four Seasons Sultanahmet is known for its rooftop terrace, the A’Ya Lounge that boosts with magnificent views of the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque. It is the ideal place to enjoy some drinks with a backdrop of the old city.
What really sets the Four Seasons aside from other properties is the exceptional service. Each staff member will go out of their way to please you at all times. After experiencing the service at the Four Seasons first hand, I can truly say that no attention to details has been spared. In the evening you will find a postcard of Istanbul next to your bedside table that will show you the weather forecast for the following day. Since the very moment that you step into the luxurious lobby, which is beautifully decorated with fresh flower bouquets, the staff members will remember your name. And at the end of our stay, we got surprised with a Turkish talisman. Such a nice touch!
The Four Seasons experience makes you feel spoilt throughout your whole stay. Both accommodations have an unbeatable location and the high standards that the Four Seasons is renowned for. What made the stay truly outstanding was the attentive and welcoming staff that ensures its guests a more than luxurious stay. I can’t wait to check in for a third time!
Thank you to the Four Seasons for hosting me! The opinions expressed on this blog are always my own.